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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  December 25, 2015 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

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>> axelrod: deadly tornadoes took everything from them, but still, they're grateful. >> i don't even know how i'm alive. it's a miracle, a christmas miracle. >> axelrod: no day off for the folks making last-minute disiferries. a singing santa's rosy cheeks reveal a dangerous condition. and steve hartman with the detective who found what he wasn't looking for. >> when you're single, you don't realize what you're missing. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> axelrod: good evening. scott's off tonight. i'm jim axelrod. survivors of the deadly storms in the south spent this christmas day cleaning up
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to be alive. unusually warm weather spawned an outbreak of tornadoes wednesday that killed at least 14 people, seven in mississippi, six in tennessee, and one in arkansas. a view from above arbland, mississippi, shows some of the homes that were blown to pieces, these with their roofs torn clean off, others completely flattened. mark strassmann is in disaster zone. >> reporter: this hilltop neighborhood was hit hard by the twister that skipped across hole springs. some homes here were badly damaged. others are completely gone. >> this is bad. this is really bad. >> reporter: this woman came home to no sign of christmas joy. >> this is where i used to live and it's gone. >> reporter: the house she shared with her husband, son, and daughter for the past nine years is scattered among a grove of shattered trees. her 35-year-old son was the only one home when the tornado hit.
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>> it could have been worse. we could have been planning a funeral instead. >> reporter: they searched for family mementos. >> pictures of my mom. she passed away in 2010 and i would look at it every night before i'd go to bed and just say, "good night." i wish i could find that picture, too. >> there's a tornado in front of us! >> reporter: the wilkens' home is one of hundreds destroyed. the youngest victim, seven-year-old nikolas pumroy, mother and sister. the wind ripped him out of the vehicle. among the six who died in tennessee, three were found in a car submerged in a river. this aerial view of ashland, mississippi, shows the devastation of the most powerful storm. it reportedly stayed on the ground for at least 145 miles, packing winds of up to 160 miles per hour. rooftops were completely torn off, trees pulled from the earth, roots and all, scattered
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used to be. barbara williamson was inside her clarksdaily home when it shredded out around. >> i don't know how i'm alive. >> reporter: in hole springs, display. donated toys for children who lost their presents in the stormed. laverne zinn picked out new gifts for her nieces and 97 use. that made me happy. >> reporter: a hard rain here most of the day kept many families from salvaging what they could. jim, the forecast brightens tomorrow, but sunday could be stormy again. >> axelrod: mark strassmann, thank you. the storms disrupted holiday deliveries, so today was no day off for some fedex employees. here's demarco morgan. >> reporter: employees for shipping giant fedex found themselves in overtime playing santa in the air and by ground. joe anne baron is a grateful customer. >> elation.
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asked to go running back to the apartment to get the packet. ing liday season for pickups and drop-offs. 317 million shipments between black friday and christmas eve, a 12% jump from last year. what they didn't predict, mother nature's unexpected delivery of more than a dozen deadly tornadoes across the south, including tennessee, where the company is headquartered. with airports shut down and roads blocked, the company that pride itself with on-time delivery had to work fast to get distribution offices back open and trucks rolling. during the holiday season, every second counts for businesses large and small. jim shock runs a dessert store in tampa. >> with us, a small company doing 5,000 packages, some of the larger companies with the packages they're doing. it's incredible. >> reporter: fedex released a
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got in the act. carlie turner pitched in with his coworkers in san jose. >> when everybody is expect a gift and they don't get it and ald of a sudden we knock on the door and all of a sudden they get their gift. >> reporter: fedex just release another statement to cbs news, saying their hearts go out to all of the victims in the storms in the southeast, and they say thaer working directly with the states to deliver aids to those hardest hit areas. >> axelrod: demarco morgan covering for us tonight in manhattan. thank you. for most of the country it was much less a white christmas than a warm one. record weather continues. >> another day with record warmth. we're not talking necessarily 70s today but a lot of 60, and compared to the normal, which should be the 30s and 40s, you see is here we did set records and pushed the 70 degree mark. in new york city, a record was set, 66 degrees. the incredible warmth continues.
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ever going to see winter? >> we do anticipate a little bit of wintry weather next week because of a system right now out west. s we look at the national picture on satellite and radar, what we note is there is snow out to the west associated with this area of low pressure over the four cornerrers. over the next couple of days, through your weekend, it explodes. as that happens, we're talking snow. we're talking excessive rainfall through places like new mexico, texas, oklahoma, arkansas, you see it here. snow, a huge problem across the panhandle of take, as well as inches. it doesn't stop there. the wind will be gusting up to 60 miles per hour, blizzard beginning tomorrow night. they're expecting power outages and major travel troubles. so that's the meas of the snow but as we look toward the rain, it's also going to be a huge problem through portions of oklahoma, into arkansas, missouri, as well as, not just from the system. again, it's the same system that
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to new england as we head toward into next week. >> axelrod: okay, vaness athank you. from the vatican to the white house this christmas, and far beyond, there were prayers for peace and calls for compassion. under tight security, thousands packed st. peter's square for the pope's annual christmas day message. pope francis condemned brutal acts of terrorism, and prayed for an end to wars in syria, libya, and other parts of the world. >> treating one another with love and compassion. >> axelrod: president obama and the first lady urged americans to follow the values jesus lived. >> caring for those on society's margins, the sick, and the hungry, the poor and the persecuted. >> axelrod: great britain's queen elibz beth joined other members of the royal family at church today. the queen offered a message in
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darkness. >> axelrod: and 250 miles up-- >> merry christmas, happy holidays, and happy new year. >> axelrod: american astronaut scott kelly sent greetings to earth. british astronaut timothy peake tried to call his wife, but spaced out and dialed the wrong number, later apologizing on twitter to the lady he called by mistake. now to the race for president, donald trump remains the republican front-runner heading into the 2016 election year. 9 latest national poll has mr. trump at thrieb 39%, far ahead of ted cruz, ben carson, and marco rubio. it's a quiet holiday on the campaign trail, but as julianna goldman reports, not a completely silent night. >> reporter: on christmas eve, donald trump attended midnight mass, a service wishing peace and good will to all. its limits. in a string of twitter attacks, the republican front-runner took credit for the obama
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hundreds of illegal immigrant back to central america, ridiculed jeb bush, and said, "i look forward to running against hillary clinton, a totally flawed candidate, and beating her soundly." trump has used an unconventional playbook to dominate the race with insults and controversies. he's remained on top without pollsters or a single tv ad. some cracks may be showing in iowa, where ted cruz is ahead by nine points in the latest cbs news poll. the texas senator spent the last week on a multistate tiewrk complete with a santa at every stop. but it's possible that polls are underestimating trump's support. a study earlier this week found he performed six points higher when people were polled online very over the phone with a person on the other end. one reason-- voters may be embarrassed to admit they're backing someone who has been criticized as a racist. >> trump say bit of an embarrassing person. and so if you think of yourself
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voter, and you like trump, you're not going to want to tell people that. >> reporter: cbs news political analyst says iowa will test a possible trump effect. >> iowa is a place where unconventional candidates tend to do pretty well, and if trump overperforms in iowa i think that gives us a guidepost what might unfold for the remaining season. >> reporter: the candidates are taking a rare few days off for christmas but they'll get back on the campaign trail starting sunday, jim, with just about five weeks to iowa. >> axelrod: julianna goldman with the latest on the race for the white house. thank you. more than a year after we first learned of problems at the phoenix v.a. hospital, they still have not been fixed. a new government report describes long waits for veterans seeking treatment. whistle blowers charge the hospital is missing something essential-- enough doctors. >> reporter: ground zero for the veterans affairs wait time scandal was here at the phoenix v.a. hospital.
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detailed how thousands of veterans across the country were put on secret waiting lists. whistleblower dr. sam foot maintains at least 40 veterans 2014. so two years later, are the problems fixed? >> no. >> reporter: the report did not blame the wait times for the deaths but did call for changes in how the phoenix v.a. schedules appointments. >> a band-aid has been put on this and, therefore, everything is okay. everything is not okay. they still don't have enough physicians and providers to provide medical care. >> reporter: in october, the i.g. released a new report about critical staffing shortages in the urology department from april 2013 to september 2014. the report says leaders can not have a plan to provide urlogical services and the staffing crisis impacted thousands of patients. >> they killed him. the phoenix v.a. >> reporter: debbie alan's
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at that time for bladder cancer. the urology department had to refer the vietnam veteran to an outside hospital. >> there were no doctors in the urology department that were qualified to do that surgery to remove his prostate and his bladder. >> reporter: debbie says it took eight months for the referral to go through. by then the cancer had spread and mel died in march 2014. could that have contributed to mel's death? >> yes. you don't mess around with cancer. >> reporter: the v.a. would not specifically talk about mel allen's case because of privacy issues, but, jim, they did send us a statement saying they have reduced the number of patients on their wait list by hiring additional staff for the urology department, and by also referring patients out to private medical providers. >> axelrod: thank you. ing up next, a singing santa nearly silenceed by a dangerous health condition. a rare and beautiful sight in the christmas sky all around the world.
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bring your challenges has been in a frightening real-life medical drama of his own. here's dr. jon lapook. >> from the ground floor apartment to the party up above there's love, love, love. >> reporter: at the john engelman theatre in northport, new york, actor and singer kevin maguire is kris kringle in the musical adaptation of "miracle on 34th street, where his sweet baritone and rosy cheeks are on full display. like christmas >> reporter: but that ruddy complexion was an outward cipe of a serious problem inside his to. >> my skin was very red and very purple and i started getting joint pain. a lot of joint pain. >> reporter: and trouble singing? >> definitely.
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>> of course. when your vocal chords are in that kind of distress and you don't know why, that's terrifying. >> reporter: in may 2012 air, blood test showed sky-high iron levels and a doctor finally figured out the cause. >> he said, "kevin you had something called hemochromeitosis." >> reporter: what did he say was the problem? >> he said you're rusting from inside out. >> reporter: the disorder is cause a genetic reflex that overloads tissues and organ. symptoms can include abdominal discomfort and loss of libido. more than one money americans have the gene mutation for the diagnosed. left untreated, the buildup can cause organ damage and even death. maguire began weekly blood draws iron. it's a simple yet effective remedy that helps restore iron levels to a normal range. >> i've never felt better in my
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i dreamed a dream in time gone by >> reporter: especially now that his vocal pipes are no longer rusting. as the iron came out of your chords, what happened to you as an actor, as a performer? >> well, i can do pretty much just about anything for a long time. from the eagle to the top >> reporter: dr. jon lapook, cbs news, northport, new york. >> axelrod: steve hartman "on the road" is coming up. also ahead a mixed holiday message from the man behind the
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since announcing the wrong winner. children scanning the skies for santa saw something they haven't seen before-- a full moon. the first time there's been a full moon on christmas since 1977. photographers didn't miss a trick documenting it. look at this one, alongside the christmas lights. this is from lebanon, another from lenaxa, kansas. there won't be another full moon on christmas until 2034. and then there are these lovely stocking stuffers. for 35 years now, the st. thomas health system in nashville, tennessee has sent christmas babies home for the holidays all dressed up for the season. there is a similar tradition at the university of pis burg million center, where the newborns are also given caps, happenedknit by local volunteers. up next, steve hartman and the detective who had no idea he was
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>> axelrod: we end tonight with a detective who didn't have a clue what was missing until he found it. here's steve hartman "on the road." >> reporter: generally speaking, if you're a kid growing up in pittsburgh, like jesse and george, the last place you ever want to be is in a courtroom across the table from detective jack mook. >> i do. >> reporter: mook is a by-the-book, no-nonsense, chew-em-up spite 'em out, veteran of the force. outside of work, he's a committed bach lor, a man's man, who had never so much as let a vidalia see his soft side. for fun he hits people and
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boxing gym teaching the sport to underprivileged kid. >> most of the kids that come in this gym are street kids. many of them have been born into poverty. >> reporter: kids like jesse and his older brother, josh. long before their date in court, jack had been working with them. >> turn that hand! >> reporter: he really liked these kids and knew the feeling was mutual, so when they just stopped showing up at the gym one day, jack went out and found them. >> and he was asking me about it, and then i just cried. >> reporter: what jack didn't know, what no one knew till that moment, was just how bad these kids had it. they were in a foster home with foster parent who, jack says, were extremely abusive and neglectful. >> they have had it as worse as any other kid that's ever lived in the city of pittsburgh, living conditions-wise. >> reporter: really? >> and that just-- i had enough of it. >> reporter: so jack mook took matters into his own hands,
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the kids placed in a new home. eat? >> reporter: his. adjustment. >> i'm here in trying to learn my culinary skills, brother. >> reporter: but i get the sense that you're really lovely lofg it. >> yes, it's awesome. it's the best thing i ever did in my life. >> reporter: at least it was the best thing, until the day he went to court and did one better. >> they'll be successful. >> reporter: adopted the boys. >> come on, guys. mooks. >> you're a mook, right! you happy? >> reporter: after this story first aired in 2014, we got a lot of e-mail, a surprising amount from women, who wanted to meet this guy. are you one of those? >> no, no! >> reporter: mary says she saw bar. >> reporter: did you go to the there. >> yes. >> aah! >> yes for all of america to >> reporter: they were married last summer. she came with three of her own,
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part of a brady bunch, a family none of them could have ever imagined just a few years ago, jack especially. >> i thought being single was fun because you don't have no responsibilities. but when you're single, you don't realize what you're missing. i'm glad i let her break through that barrier, and take me away from that life. >> reporter: sounds like it wasn't just the boys who were rescued. steve hartman, "on the road," in pittsburgh. >> axelrod: and you can see more of steve hartman's favorite stories from his "on the road" series starting right after our broadcast on our digital broadcast on cbsn, on cbsnews.com. and that is the cbs evening news for tonight. for scott pelley i'm jim axelrod in new york. and for all of us here at cbs news, merry christmas, and good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh
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